Nintendo Scores A Major Win In The War Against Video Game Piracy In The UK

Nintendo Scores A Major Win In The War Against Video Game Piracy In The UK
Credit: Nintendo Official Website

Nintendo has long been a major player in the war against piracy. The company has a history of taking on emulation sites, shutting down fan projects based on their properties, and even restricting the use of Nintendo game footage on YouTube.

In a recent decision made by the UK high court, five of the area’s biggest ISPs are now being forced to “block, or at least impede access” to major websites that are focused on piracy. The ISPs included in the decision are BT, EE, Talktalk, Sky, and Virgin Media. All four of these services will be taking steps to prevent users from reaching four different sites that were involved in distributing custom hardware and pirated Switch software, as well as tutorials for hacking the Nintendo Switch.

A Nintendo spokesperson made a statement in regards to the decision, stating that the High Court “has confirmed that dealing in devices or software that enable piracy on Nintendo Switch systems is unlawful,” and that the “decision will help protect the UK games industry and the more than 1800 developers worldwide that create games for the Nintendo Switch platform…”

It comes as no surprise that Nintendo’s portable console is a major focus of hacking and piracy right now. There have been a number of advancements over the past year, allowing people to exploit loopholes in the system software to run android or another custom OS. Nintendo consoles have always been ripe for the picking when it comes to piracy, with the Nintendo DS being one of the most easily exploitable handhelds in history.

With the DS, all it took was a simple R4 cartridge to play homebrew software and pirated games, and while Nintendo constantly updated their preventative measure on the software end, hackers found easy fixes.

It’s a struggle that Nintendo has face since the NES days with varying degrees of success, but this most recent ruling is definitely a solid win for them. Despite piracy being a major issue around the world, there are currently no ISPs that are required by law to prevent access to sites that promote it.

The real question here, however, is how long will it last? While the four sites in question are reportedly some of the biggest in the realm of Switch piracy, there’s no doubt a thousand more that are just as easily accessible with a quick Google search.

With Nintendo having one court battle, it may only a matter of time before they try to enforce the same type of restrictions here in the US and other parts of the world. They’ll certainly never be able to stop piracy, but they sure aren’t going to quit fighting it.